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David Krieger

President, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation

TFF associate



September 20, 2003 - 6 months after the US started the war on Iraq


"I want to share with you three recent poems written with the second anniversary of 9/11 and our frightening leadership in mind."







Each rising of the sun begins a day of awe, destined
To bring shock to those who can be shocked.

This day began in sunlit beauty and, like other days,
Soon fell beneath deathís demon shadow.

The darkness crossed Manhattan and the globe,
The crashing planes, tall towers bursting into flame.

The hurtling steel into solid steel endlessly played
On the nightly news until imprinted on our brains

People lurching from the burning towers, plunging
Like shot geese to the startled earth beneath.

The shock was painted on faces on the news,
That such sudden death could be visited on us.

But such death is not extraordinary in our world of grief,
Born anew each brief and scarlet sunlit day.

White flowers grow from blood stained streets
And rain falls gently, gently in defiance, not defeat.






"Bring them on." -- George W. Bush

Young Americans, soldiers, sentries, oceans from home
In the concrete jungles of Iraq, cradle of civilization,

Dressed in desert camouflage, which hides nothing,
Which announces, ìI am a target,î standing guard,

Not knowing who is the enemy, but suspecting everyone,
Wearing their helmets low on their foreheads, hands gripped

Tightly on their weapons, feeling the nerves, ready to shoot,
Not eager to kill, but ready, homesick, hearts pounding,

Missing their sweethearts, knowing the president lies,
Knowing the weapons of mass destruction are at home,

Remembering Rumsfeldís smirk and Cheneyís crooked mouth,
Wanting only to go home, home from this dreary desert,

Home from this place they donít belong, home before they are shot
Or hit a mine or are bombed, home before they bleed and die.





He struts too quickly to the podium
Stands behind the Presidential Seal,
Stares straight into the camera, focuses
Upon the lens, begins, "My fellow Americans."

His words come out in clipped, short bursts
Like an automatic weapon in the hands
Of a frightened child, his pitiless eyes
Reflecting the dull gray of a battleship.

Behind these eyes one senses grenades, ready
To explode in a vast cavernous space,
A space larger than oceans, a space that could conceal
Saddam, Osama and a thousand secret evils.

His staccato voice tries to make the case
That he fights for civilization against barbarians,
But it is an airy case that rings false and feeble,
His words, like unseen radiation, float lazily away. 

He attempts a smile, to connect with the camera,
But the corners of his lips barely rise
Toward the hard and squinty eyes that take aim
Upon the children and the flowers.

He ends bestowing his dusty incantation,
"May God continue to bless America,"
Then disappears, fades quickly into shadowed grayness,
Leaving us to ponder new atrocities, new fears.


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© TFF & the author 2003  


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